With a ceremonious “pop” of the cap off several Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® ready-to-drink coffee (RTD) beverages at Pacific Lake of Xin Tian Di, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) celebrated today the launch of the rich and creamy coffee beverage that is now available in China. This indulgent RTD coffee product extends the signature Starbucks Experience beyond the Starbucks stores, making it easier for consumers to enjoy the taste they love at home, at work, or on the go.
The new joint venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo, the International Coffee Partnership (ICP), is bringing to China an exciting Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee beverage, leveraging Pepsi’s established beverage distribution channels. This partnership also creates new opportunities and new ways of thinking in developing China’s premium ready-to-drink coffee market. Additionally, ICP’s innovative and breakthrough experiential marketing strategy for the Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee beverage will give Chinese consumers a unique and rich experience.
The Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink is made with authentic Starbucks® Italian Roast coffee, which is a medium-bodied blend of Latin American coffees roasted a bit darker than Starbucks® Espresso Roast. When blended with creamy milk and the right amount of sweetness, it provides an irresistible taste experience, highlighted by the sweet, slightly smoky flavor of the Italian Roast coffee.
“We believe that the best way to enjoy Starbucks® coffee is in one of our stores, or that Third Place between work and home, when it has been handcrafted and served by one of our knowledgeable baristas,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, Starbucks Coffee Company. “But we know that our customers are not always able to visit one of our stores. Now the delicious taste of Starbucks® coffee is available both inside and outside of our retail stores.”
Sold at select convenience stores, grocery and other retail locations, including Starbucks stores, Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee drinks are available in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The first two flavors introduced in these markets are Coffee and Mocha.
Rich Experience in Every Bottle
With a tagline of “Rich Experience in Every Bottle,” consumers in China are now able to taste and experience the irresistibly rich and creamy blend of aromatic Starbucks® coffee, milk and sweetness that is found in a distinctive glass bottle. After enjoying the beverage, consumers are encouraged to use the bottle to hold personal photos of their own lives’ rich experiences. This will allow the rich experience to continue on and to be shared with family, friends and other loved ones.
“Pepsi will leverage its distribution channels and years of marketing experience to bring the exciting Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee drinks to Chinese consumers,” said Daniel Shih, Chairman of PepsiCo Investment (China) Limited. “The launch of Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® will continue the successful International Coffee Partnership between Pepsi and Starbucks. The China market is the largest beverage market for PepsiCo. Chinese consumers are of significant importance to both companies.”
Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink was initially launched in 1996 in North America through the first joint venture between Starbucks and PepsiCo, called the North American Coffee Partnership. At that time, the introduction was credited with creating the premium ready-to-drink coffee market in the U.S. and Canada. To date, this Starbucks coffee beverage innovation remains the No.1 product in its segment of the RTD coffee category in the U.S. In September, the companies formed a new joint venture, called the International Coffee Partnership, to address additional markets outside of North America.
“Now, leveraging PepsiCo’s extensive sales and distribution network through the newly-formed International Coffee Partnership, we are able to bring Starbucks® signature coffee to consumers in China in another convenient manner,” said Gerry Lopez, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group. “We believe that Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® coffee drinks will create a premium RTD coffee market in China and will soon become a beverage of choice with Chinese consumers.”
World’s First New Media Subway ‘Soap Opera’ Debuts in China
For the first time anywhere in the world, the International Coffee Partnership is collaborating with Digital Media Group (DMG), China’s leading operator of digital media networks inside subway systems, to introduce a subway ‘soap opera’ called “A Sunny Day.” Featuring popular Chinese artists Huang Xiao Ming (CC) and Liao Jun Jia (Sunny), this romantic ‘soap opera’ will be broadcast in the Shanghai subways and will feature an uplifting story of hope and kindness.
“We are excited about this never-been-seen-before experiential marketing tool that will enable us to reach out to the young professionals in China more effectively,” said Richard Lee, Vice President, PepsiCo International Marketing. “With ‘A Sunny Day,’ we hope to bring romance and rich experiences into the everyday lives of our customers, even when they are traveling in the subway. This project demonstrates our commitment to providing our consumers with innovative ways to experience our products.”
Each story episode will run three minutes, timed perfectly to appeal to subway commuters, and a new episode will be unveiled everyday beginning in mid-November 2007. At the same time, this innovative, first-in-the-world, multi-touch point experiential marketing tool will engage consumers via an online blog that will be updated at the end of everyday, capturing the character’s daily encounters and rich experiences.
“As soon as we saw the concept, we embraced the subway soap opera opportunity because of its perfect fit with our mission of providing consumers with daily inspiration,” said Rich DePencier, vice president of international, Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group. “The message of the film focuses on the importance of kindness and hope in our communities, which is something that we strive for and is built into the core of Starbucks values.”
Starbucks Coffee Company provides an uplifting experience that enriches people’s lives one moment, one human being, one extraordinary cup of coffee at a time. To share in the experience, visit www.starbucks.com.
PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) is one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with 2006 annual revenues of more than $35 billion. The Company employs approximately 168,000 people worldwide, and its products are sold in approximately 200 countries. Its principal businesses include: Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. The PepsiCo portfolio includes 17 brands that generate $1 billion or more each in annual retail sales. PepsiCo’s commitment to sustainable growth, defined as Performance with Purpose, is focused on generating healthy financial returns while giving back to communities the company serves. This includes meeting consumer needs for a spectrum of convenient foods and beverages, reducing the company’s impact on the environment through water, energy and packaging initiatives, and supporting its employees through a diverse and inclusive culture that recruits and retains world-class talent. PepsiCo is listed on the Dow Jones North America Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
Lara Wyss, 206-318-7100
Caren Li, 86-21-2412-5802
Rain Wang, 86-21-62892929 x 101
Catherine Jiang, 86-21-62892929 x 340
Chris Tung, 86-21-2305-8000